Mayor Wants To Reduce Airplane Noise


Facts about the ‘Quiet Skies,’ traffic islands for Roslyn

In his July letter, Mayor John Durkin addressed the issue of “low flying planes” over Roslyn. Durkin admitted that progress on this issue is “slow” while promising to keep working on it.
“One issue that continues to trouble us is low flying planes coming over our area,” the mayor wrote. “I belong to organizations such as Quiet Skies, looking to control the altitude and landing patterns of the planes coming into Kennedy and LaGuardia. The issue is…complex and difficult, the progress in affecting change is slow. But it is a quality of life issue for all of us that needs to be addressed so we will continue working on it.”

The William Cullen Bryant Viaduct. (Photo credit D. Benjamin Miller via Wikipedia)

What is Quiet Skies? It is a federal program that, according to blogger Bob Burns, has been misunderstood through inaccurate reporting, being described as “a program through which Federal Air Marshals (FMA) surveil random travelers for no rhyme or reason.” Burns’ response is as follows:
“If your local police department had intelligence that your neighborhood was at an elevated threat for dangerous activity, you’d want an increased police presence until the threat was gone. Federal Air Marshals serve in that same capacity in the aviation environment; they are law enforcement officers who use their experience and training to identify things that are out of the ordinary in the aviation environment,” said Burns, who died unexpectedly in 2018 at age 48. “Over the years, Federal Air Marshals have used their skills and training to successfully respond to in-flight emergencies and non-terrorist incidents. Their on-board presence has defused dozens of situations that had the potential to escalate, placing the aircraft, crew, and passengers in further danger.
‘Quiet Skies’ is another tool that allows the Federal Air Marshal Service to more efficiently deploy law enforcement resources to focus on travelers who may present an elevated risk to aviation security. Through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA’s) Secure Flight Program and by leveraging Custom and Border Protection’s Automated Targeting System, TSA’s intelligence professionals develop a set of risk-based, intelligence-driven scenario rules, which allow us to identify international travelers who may require enhanced screening. These rules have strict oversight by the Department of Homeland Security, including the privacy, civil rights and liberties, and general counsel offices.
“TSA uses this program to reduce the risk on airplanes by identifying passengers deemed to be higher risk according to certain travel patterns and other intelligence-based factors. Contrary to some reporting, the program does not take into account race or religion and does not designate individuals based on their observed behaviors onboard an aircraft. As trained law enforcement officers, Federal Air Marshals observe passengers in accordance with their training. When FAMs are informed that a traveler identified through the intelligence-driven scenario rules will be on a particular flight or in the airport, they are able to observe the traveler in the airport and on the flight. Passengers referred to the program may require additional scrutiny for a certain period of time; however, TSA routinely removes passengers from the program sooner than the prescribed period if we become aware of information that indicates the passengers do not represent a risk.
“FAMs have and will continue to use a variety of tools and work with industry partners to detect, deter, and defeat any potential threat to the aircraft, crew, and passengers. They play an important role in protecting travelers in mid-air and are essential to our national security,” Burns concluded.
In other news, the mayor addressed work on village hall, traffic islands, and Grist Mill funding.
“A lot of folks are asking about the work being done in front of the village hall,” the mayor continued. “That is a Key Span project that is going on throughout the area. They are upgrading substations and the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Although this project was bigger than we anticipated, I must say the people working on it have been very conscientious about minimizing the impact. They have been pleasant and cooperative with us.”
On the matter of the traffic islands, the mayor added: “We have begun work on the three traffic islands at the northwest entrance to the village. This is an exciting project. The change will be dramatic when completed. We are hoping to have it planted by early fall and at that time we will have a beautiful, welcoming entrance to Roslyn.”
Finally, the mayor noted that Nassau County had committed to releasing an additional two million dollars from the county for continued restoration of the Roslyn Grist Mill.
Howard Kroplick, president of the Landmark Society told Durkin that a descendant of the Robeson family, for whom the mill is named, “made a substantial donation to the restoration project.”

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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